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1956 - 2023, Celebrating over 65+ Years of Service

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Excerpts from
AAHS Journal, Vol. 67, No. 3 - Fall 2022
Table of Contents
 

  • "The Aircraft Standard of the World" 1930 Stinson SM-8A, Part 1: The Stinsons - Jim Reider
  • Flabob Airport - Riverside, California - Barbara H. Schultz
  • Sentimental Journey: The Air Fields of the Sixth Air Force; the Pacific Patrol Arc - Dan Hagedorn
  • The Vought V-326 and V-326A, These test beds remain unknown - Alain Pelletier
  • The Celebration that Wasn’t; The 75th Anniversary of the Air Force - Arnold F. Swanberg
  • The Story of Major Pierce McKennon - Dr. James J. Hudson
  • AAHS Flight Log
  • Forum of Flight
  • News & Comments from our Members
  • CEO’s Message - Jerri Bergen

  • "The Aircraft Standard of the World" 1930 Stinson SM-8A, Part 1: The Stinsons

    The original intent in producing this work was to create a picture story of 1930 Stinson SM-8A (NC469Y) proudly owned by George Alleman of Northern California. This in itself was not a bad idea. With some artistic photography. . .Voila! You have a good coffee table book. However, the work has morphed into much more than a simple picture book telling how one vintage Stinson airplane looks, 84 years after its date of manufacture.

    As the research progressed, it was apparent that the members of the Stinson family and their contributions to early aviation had to be acknowledged. The stories of the Edward A. Stinson, Senior and Emma Beavers Stinson "flying" family had to be shared. Each member of this family had an individual and unique involvement in the early years of flight.

    From a modest beginning of turning wrenches at the family flying school to becoming a sought-after test pilot and leader in aircraft manufacturing, Eddie Stinson did it all. In the time of the Great Depression, while other aircraft manufacturers were closing, the Stinson Aircraft Corp. was surpassing all other aircraft manufacturers’ combined sales for cabin aircraft. The 1930 SM-8A is one of the airplanes that made Stinson aircraft so successful.

    This article addresses not only its major premise, a pictorial history of one SM-8A, but includes events leading up to the airplane’s manufacture. The versatility of the airplane is illustrated by relating how it was used by a variety of different owners over the years. A successive array of photos is presented showing the progressive reconstruction and covering of the aircraft at Ragtime Aero, ultimately revealing how NC469Y looks today, 25 years after being rebuilt. It also describes the Stinson family roots that brought about the genius of Eddie Stinson, a school dropout who founded a successful airplane company in the worst years of our country’s economic downturn.


    The Stinsons Take Flight

    The Edward A. Stinson, Sr. family from Fort Payne, Ala., was one of the most heralded families in American aviation history. Katherine Stinson, the oldest child, led her family into aviation. Katherine was not alone in this adventure; she had the encouragement and financial support of her parents, Edward and Emma. Eventually everyone in Katherine’s family was involved in aviation, whether through ?nancial assistance and encouragement, or active participation in the businesses.

    In 1911, Katherine had ambitions to study music abroad, but her enthusiasm waned after her first balloon ride. Katherine found the balloon ride such a thrilling air adventure that she decided to train as a pilot, instead. Since exhibition pilots received generous fees for their performances, Katherine felt she could ?nance her music studies abroad in a short time this way. Unfortunately, her music studies did not take off, although Katherine did!

    Emma Stinson, strongly advocated for her two daughters, whom she raised to be adventurous, while supporting them in their quests to fly. When Katherine was sent home from the Benoist Flying School with the advice to pursue a more ladylike profession, Emma approached George Mills, of the Flying Mills Brothers, to give Katherine flying lessons, although he declined.

    Katherine’s persistence finally paid off.

    Armed with the $500 lesson fee, from the sale of a piano, and her father’s financial contribution, Katherine enrolled in Max Lillie’s flying school at Chicago’s Cicero Field. Katherine, who was a quick study, soloed on July 13, 1912, in a Wright "B" Flyer. Three days later she earned her pilot’s license by qualifying for the Federation Aeronautique International (FAI) pilot’s certi?cate.

    Just 10 years after the ?rst powered flight at Kitty Hawk, Katherine Stinson became the fourth U.S. women to earn a pilot’s certi?cate. Two of the three other American aviatrixes had perished while flying the same year Katherine received her license. Julia Clark’s fatal crash occurred at Spring?eld, Ill., and Harriet Quimby suffered a fall from her Bleroit, in Boston, Mass., Mathilde Moisant, the only other licensed female pilot, retired immediately after the Quimby accident. In the United States the sky belonged to Katherine Stinson.

    During the rest of the summer and fall of 1912, Katherine practiced flying at Cicero Field and Kinlock Field, near St. Louis, Mo., while wintering in Hot Springs, Arkansas. In April of 1913, Katherine and Emma incorporated as the Stinson Aviation Co., with a capitalization of $3,070, most of which they borrowed from friends and relatives. The stated intention of the company was to "manufacture, sell, rent and otherwise engage in the aircraft trade."

    The newly formed Stinson Aviation Co. bought its first airplane in May of 1913, a Wright Model B Flyer, from Max Lillie, Katherine’s instructor and mentor. The Wright Model B Flyer was purchased for the sum of $2000. The new owners’ ?rst chore was to give the grime- and grease-encrusted airplane a thorough scrubbing. Close inspection after the cleaning revealed . . .



    Marjorie Stinson with military offiers she trained


    Flabob Airport - Riverside, California

     

    Flabob Airport possesses an aviation history rich in both local and international interest. The success of the airport exists because a team of volunteers, businesses and non-profits educate and inspire young people to pursue aviation careers and become responsible citizens. With a communal commitment to mentoring, Flabob programs have succeeded and continue to thrive.

    A motto for Flabob could easily be Respecting the Legacy, Ensuring the Future. This brings into perspective the foundation upon which Flabob has become - a working airport with a mission. It’s founding fathers knew the importance of sharing their passion with young people. They felt that youth, aspiring to achieve lofty goals, appreciated the possibilities of aviation. Some enthusiastically aimed for a career in the skies. Flabob Airport and the Tom Wathen Center endure for these very reasons.

    The first available record of civilian flying in Riverside was in 1912, when Clarence Oliver "Ollie" Prest flew from Venice to deliver a greeting to Riverside’s mayor. Ollie and Swede Meyerhoffer became flight instructors for the Army at their Riverside field that officially opened in 1917. Ollie also designed and flew his own aircraft, making two trips to Alaska. Meyerhoffer caught the attention of local residents by swooping down over a multitude gathered on Mt. Rubidoux for Easter Sunrise Service. Those gathered to cite the Lord’s Prayer scrambled in every direction to avoid an encounter with Swede’s aircraft.

    Although Ollie and Swede, along with a handful of other pioneering pilots, contributed to establishing aviation in Riverside, Roman Warren is credited for substantiating the importance of the city’s airport. Roman gained his experience as a pilot on the barnstorming circuit. After two years performing in his Jenny, he realized that the competition to earn a living as a barnstormer was becoming more and more difficult. He heard flying for the movies paid well, packed his sparse belongings, and winged his way to Los Angeles in 1924. An empty fuel tank over Riverside forced him to land in an empty pasture at the intersection of Pennsylvania and Chicago Avenues. Within minutes, he was surrounded by a large crowd and an opportunity for some passenger hops! A passing motorist provided Roman with some gas and the rest is history. After several weekends of giving local residents their first ride in an airplane, Roman called Riverside his home, flying out of the Jurupa Avenue Airport.

    Roman oversaw the airport and did whatever he could to earn a living. When a municipal airport was established just west of the Santa Ana River and south of Mission Boulevard, he was selected to manage it. Income generated from the airport was meager at best. To stimulate business, Roman decided to fly under the Rubidoux Bridge. Certainly, the publicity would bring him some new customers. It took several months before the stunt paid off. The turning point for the Riverside Airport occurred in 1927 when the airport incorporated. Construction of a hangar took place and a smoothed-out runway provided a substantial upgrade. More improvements in 1931 allowed for airlines to provide service to Riverside. Impressive airshows, Army Air Corps support and continued developments could not prevent political and . . .



    Roman Warren (left) - Cowboy Aviator


    Sentimental Journey: The Air Fields of the Sixth Air Force; the Pacific Patrol Arc

    This is the last in a series of short histories of the air fields of America’s "Forgotten Air Force," the Sixth Air Force, which originally commenced some 20 years ago in the Summer 2003 (Volume 48, Number 2) issue of the Journal. Since then, we have examined the permanent pre-war and wartime stations in the Canal Zone itself (France Field, Albrook Field, Howard Field, New France Field and aerodromes in the Republic of Panama itself, including Rio Hato). This final installment is devoted to the vital system of bases established up and down through Mexico and Central America into the Pacific "shoulder" of mainland South America - and including the pivotal Galapagos Islands. This series has been prepared with materials collected for the author’s definitive history of Army aviation in defense of the Panama Canal and the Caribbean, ‘ALAE SUPRA CANALEM: The Sixth Air Force and Antilles Air Command’ (Turner Publishing Co., Paducah, KY, and now a collector’s item) that were too extensive to be included in that title, and thus they have been presented here as a memorial to the men and women who served in those far-off, isolated bastions where there was truly "No Ground to Give." There is no memorial, no marker, no surviving symbol in those exotic places, now so familiar to sun-seekers, to commemorate their passing and, in many instances, the ultimate sacrifice that many of them made.

    As we have seen in the last two installments in this series, nature and geography had conveniently provided U.S. defense planners with a practically tailor-made solution for the aerial protection of the Atlantic and Caribbean approaches to the vital Panama Canal. But the Pacific approaches held no such advantages and, as the defenders struggled to contain the German and Italian submarine offensive in the Caribbean during most of 1942, they were, at precisely the same time, looking over their shoulders apprehensively for what they were certain might be an even more powerful Japanese stroke across the vast Pacific.

    Given the seemingly unstoppable Japanese advances in the Pacific in late 1941 and through to the Battle of Midway in 1942, they had every reason to believe that a target as pivotal to their conquests as the Canal itself would surely be next on the agenda. While the U.S. was, indeed, reading some of the Japanese codes, during those electrifying months following Pearl Harbor, it just seemed logical that Japan would make some sort of gambit - especially after the sporadic submarine attacks on the coast of California and up to Oregon.

    Since there was no way to be certain, as quickly as U.S. planners in the Canal Zone could muster the military and diplomatic resources to do so, they commenced the creation of series of bases as far north as Mexico and as far south as Peru to provide 24/7 air coverage, in depth, over all conceivable Pacific approaches to the Canal.

    A quick look at any map of the region reveals just how daunting a task this was, given the resources available - and the central fact that, had it not been for the nearly perfectly placed Galapagos Islands - it would have been far more difficult.

    At this point in this discussion, several salient historical anomalies deserve mention.

    First and foremost, although not immediately obvious, the Sixth Air Force was the solitary numbered Air Force of the wartime USAAF to have had major combat responsibilities in both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean areas, not to mention the Caribbean Sea, and its total are of operations exceeded the size of the continental United States.

    Secondly, and due entirely to the geographic configuration of that operating area, the Atlantic and Caribbean were overwhelmingly equipped with twin-engine and single-engine aircraft - although a few four-engine B-17s, LB-30s1 and B-24Ds operated in the area for special operations, none did so in unit strength. The Pacific Patrol Arc was almost entirely the province of the VI Bomber Command equipped with nearly . . .



    Two B-24Ds break for landing at Baltra, Galapagos Islands, with Boeing XC-105 (the former XB-15) parked on ramp.


    The Vought V-326 and V-326A, These test beds remain unknown

    The Vought V-326 and V-326A, now forgotten, launched the career of the Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major, one of the finest engines designed during the Second World War.

    The "Wasp Major" engine finds its origins in the late 1930s. At that time, at Pratt & Whitney, chief engineer Leonard S. "Luke" Hobs was studying the possibility of building a very powerful radial engine with four rows of seven cylinders. To do this, he built a model using R-2800 Double Wasp engine cylinders. Wind tunnel tests showed that the drag of this engine differed little from that of the less powerful R-2800.

    In August 1940, Hobs managed to convince Gen. Henry "Hap" Arnold, head of the Army Air Corps, of the urgent need to develop and produce this engine that, in the military standard, became the R-4360 Wasp Major. Hobs produced a working prototype by April 1941, eight months after the launch of the program. It was an impressive engine for the time: a power of 3,000 hp, 4,362.5 cu. in total displacement the 28 cylinders, 56 spark plugs, all for a mass of 3,400 lbs.

    Seeking a single-engine aircraft large enough to serve as a test bed for this imposing engine, Pratt & Whitney set its sights on the Vultee Vengeance prototype. The XA-31A serial number 42-35824 became the Vultee type V-85 after undergoing the necessary modifications. Unfortunately, the tests with this plane were of short duration since, on September 15, 1942, victim of an engine failure, the V-85 crashed in the middle of a field in Connecticut. Pratt & Whitney then began looking for a new single-engine aircraft. Two engine engineers, Alfred H. Marshall and Rudolph Wallace, with the help of Charles A. Lindbergh as a consultant, competed for an aircraft using the Vought Seawolf wing, tail and landing gear. In fact, two aircraft were planned for test bed service, which respectively received the designation V-326 and V-326A. The V-326 was intended for the development of the Wasp Major, while the V-326A was to be used for the development of supercharging systems intended to equip advanced versions of the Wasp Major.

    Having to operate at an altitude of more than 40,000 ft, these two planes were equipped with a pressurized "capsule" for a crew of four. This capsule, completely independent of the plane itself, was roughly shaped like a cylinder with rounded extremities. Pressurization was provided by a Garrett Research electric compressor. The capsule had to be able to maintain a . . .



    Vought V-326 with pressurized cockpit.


    The Celebration that Wasn’t; The 75th Anniversary of the Air Force

    Up until the mid-1970s when Red Flag and Topgun were established, U.S. military aircraft often carried colorful markings. The dictates of air combat, however, turned virtually the entire military into a mostly gray airplane as "he who sees first lives."

    But in 1976 the nation entered its bicentennial year and imaginative and even garish markings were applied to both Navy and Air Force aircraft. Even the army got involved with the bicentennial albeit on a much more modest basis than the other services. In 1986, the Navy celebrated its Diamond Anniversary (75 years) and many Navy aircraft were given "special" markings. Virtually every squadron of the Navy or Marines at least carried the diamond emblem of the 75th Navy Aviation badge. But in 2011, naval aviation had its 100th anniversary and for this the Navy repainted a smaller number of aircraft into historically accurate markings. 2022 was the 75th Anniversary of the Air Force and they, too, used mostly historically accurate markings although a few spurious markings were allowed.

    As with the Navy’s 100th Anniversary, about 40 aircraft were painted up in commemorative markings. The majority of those painted now belonged to Air Education and Training Command (AETC) although a few Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve aircraft were also painted. Story has it that the commander of Air Combat Command would not allow any specially painted aircraft and perhaps even more surprisingly the special AETC aircraft could only be displayed at other AETC bases and a few selected civilian run airshows. Reserve component commemorative aircraft were allowed to be displayed at their own local airshows. Perhaps, to put a finer point on it, the Navy in 2011 went out of their way to get a large number of the Navy’s centennial aircraft placed on display at NAS North Island. However, when Andrews had their September 2022 airshow there was only one 75th anniversary aircraft on display.

    As was noted AETC has the majority of the 75th anniversary aircraft; their primary training aircraft are the Beechcraft T-1A and T-6A and the Northrop T-38. It wasn’t until September that airshows began to list all three training aircraft to be on display. Typically, all three are on display even at small airshows. Neither the T-1A or the T-6 were put on display at active Air force Bases, although the gloss black T-38s from Beale AFB were often displayed.

    Nonetheless, Edwards AFB had a commemorative Lockheed F-16 in October. Similiarly, NAS Jacksonville displayed an commemorative McDonnell Douglas F-15 . . .



    Beechcraft T-1A 95-0043 of the 43rd FTS


    The Story of Major Pierce McKennon

    "This will be a rough mission," 1st Lt. Pierce W. McKennon of Fort Smith, Ark., mused to himself as he pulled his six foot frame into the snug little cockpit of the P-51 Mustang fighter plane. Schweinfurt had been a veritable hell of flak and a nest of aggressive, highly-capable German fighter pilots for many months. On October 14, 1943, only six months before, a fleet of 228 American B-17 and B-24 bombers had lost 60 planes while attempting to knock out the ball bearing plants located in that central German stronghold.[1]

    In fact, the losses had been so heavy as to win the title "Black Thursday" for the mission and virtually end daylight bombing on such strongly-defended targets so deep in enemy territory. Today, April 13, 1944, (another Thursday), Schweinfurt was the target again! By this time, however, the American bomber formations were escorted by long-range fighters - a comfort not available to them the previous October.

    With the help of his crew chief, Sgt. Joe Sills, McKennon squirmed into his parachute, fastened his safety belt and shoulder harness, pulled on his RAF-type flying helmet, plugged in his radio cord, and adjusted his oxygen mask. After these chores were taken care of, the handsome young flyer moved carefully through the 21 steps in the "pre-starting" cockpit check. Now he was ready for the signal to "press" that would be given by the 4th Fighter Group Commander.[2] The signal was not long in coming, and the engines of the 4th’s 48 red nosed Mustangs roared simultaneously to life.

    During the next few minutes, the pilots taxied to the end of the airfield, faced into the wind and prepared to takeoff. As Lieutenant McKennon’s own unit, the 335th Fighter Squadron, was the last to take off, he had time to glance about RAF Debden and reflect on whether in a few hours he might be touching down again to its comforts. These thoughts were short-lived, however, for it was now his time to turn into the wind, push on maximum power and start the takeoff run. As the airspeed indicator touched 100 mph he gently eased back on the control stick and felt his Mustang, RIDGE RUNNER, become airborne. A quick glance to the right told him that his wingman was in position a few feet away. Then the Arkansan began his turn to the left to join the squadron circling the field.

    One climbing circuit of RAF Debden was sufficient for the three squadrons comprising the 4th Fighter Group to move into formation. The group was made up of experienced pilots, many of whom traced their combat careers back to Eagle Squadron days before the United States entered the war. With the formation completed, the "Debden Terrors" set course toward the east to Germany. Soon the green of the English countryside dropped away to the rear, and the pilots climbed up over the choppy blue of the North Sea. At 1245 hours, some 50 minutes after takeoff, they crossed the Belgian coast at an altitude of 25,000 feet and leveled off to pick up cruising speed. The rendezvous with the "Big Friends" (B-17s and B-24s) was to occur at 1341 hours at a point a few miles west of the target city - Schweinfurt.

    Time passed slowly as the sleek little fighters cruised on at 300 mph. Moving his head from right to left and back again, in what the fighter pilot called the "Messerschmitt twitch," Pierce McKennon’s keen eyes searched the sky in all directions. In spite of . . .



    Sgt. Joseph Sills and Capt. Pierce W. McKennon.


    AAHS Log Book

    There is a lot going on behind the scenes at your AAHS headquarters that does not get regular coverage. The following provides a snapshot of activities during the last quarter. Don’t forget that there are opportunities for you to actively help further the objectives of the Society. Just contact Membership and volunteer.

    Year end is rapidly approaching- and the holiday season. You might have seen your Fall JOURNAL come in the mail - it’s marvelous! As usual! I had opened my mailbox, enroute to an errand, and instead of running the errand I sat in the driveway and read the Journal. GREAT article by Ed Martin and others, and an unusual cover painting.

    Do please welcome a new volunteer to the Flabob office, JULIE OPPEN. Julie is working on Book Connect with Charlie, and has the opportunity to come in during the week. THANK YOU, Julie, for helping us catalog our books and magazines.

    The Veterans Day event at Flabob, Saturday the 12th was a success- with a couple thousand people attending, airplane rides all day, honor ceremonies for attending veterans and more. We had a booth, staffed by Charlie, Bianca and author Barbara Schultz, where we sold over $350 in books. THANK you to

    Bianca and Charlie! We also met with the branch manager of the Riverside County library (not the city library, nearby) - and they offered to take duplicate books as well- huzzah! We’ll connect up with this County Library in the next few weeks.

    A son of a longtime AAHS member, Tom Wilson (from Camarillo), came to Flabob this week and donated a rare BT-13 wooden prop and a Cessna Bobcat prop, as well as 20 model kits, still in plastic, as well as some books. We hope to sell these assets to support AAHS (and have his ok to do so).



    AAHS both at Flabob Veterans Day Celebration


    Forum of Flight

    This issue of the Forum focuses features the aircraft that were on display at the Edwards AFB Open House held in mid October - their first open house in 13 years. Thanks to John Martin for the coverage.

    The FORUM is presented as an opportunity for each member to participate in the Journal by submitting interesting or unusual photographs. Most of the images come from contributions to the AAHS archives. Unfortunately, with older images the contributor information has been lost. Where known, we acknowledge them.

    Negatives, slides, black-and-white or color photos with good contrast may be used if they have smooth surfaces. Digital submissions are also acceptable, but please provide high resolution images (>3,000 pixels wide). Please include as much information as possible about the image such as: date, place, msn (manufacturer’s serial number), names, etc., plus proper photo credit (it may be from your collection but taken by another photographer).

    Send submissions to the Editorial Committee marked "Forum of Flight," P. O. Box 3023 Huntington Beach, CA 92605-3023. Mark any material to be returned: "Return to (your name and complete address)." Or, you may wish to have your material added to the AAHS photo archives.



    Top Gun - Maverick movie mockup at 2022 Edwards Open House.


    News & Comments from our Members

     

    From AAHS Journal, Vol .67, No. 3, Spring 2022

    It just gets better, what an issue!

    Having almost finished Joe Juptner’s T-Hangar Tales, I was most pleased to see the shout-out to Gerald Balzer. Most of the photos in the book are from Balzer’s collection.

    I especially enjoyed the Kingman story, and the Kelly Johnson interviews. A friend of mine was the late Willis Hawkins, who told me this Kelly story. Willis was the principal designer of the C-130, which is still in production. He liked to make a model of every airplane he worked on, and when he had finished his C-130 model, he took it up to Mahogany Row to show it to Mr. Gross. Gross admired the model, and asked "Has Kelly seen this?" Willis explained that Kelly was in another department. Mr. Gross pushed a button, which summoned Kelly. Kelly came in, gave a perfunctory hello to Willis, and picked up the model. After looking it over, he said, "Mr. Gross, if Lockheed submits this for the Army contract, it will be the end of the company," turned and walked out.

    An irony is that Kelly originally hired Willis, then a grad student at U. Mich, in charge of the wind tunnel. They had a complex relationship.

    John D. Lyon



    Right up front, your Fall ’22 issue was absolutely awesome, cover to cover! I always enjoy your publications, but this one was really special, and I’ll tell you why.

    When I flipped through the pages and came to "The Aviation History of Port Washington, Long Island" I about fell off my chair (OK, that’s a standard weekend practice, but this was 10AM...). My first six years on this planet were spent in a cottage (with an attached seaplane hangar, big enough for a pair of Widgeons) just a stone’s throw west of the New York Seaplane Airport location.

    In your map graphic, the last pier heading west from the North Hempstead Yacht Club was our pier, and its still there today (as is the cottage and hangar). Way back in 1956, the hangar was being used by the Harriman family to store their Widgeons. On many business days, their pilot would fetch one of the planes, water taxi across Manhasset Bay to the Harriman Estate on the shore of Kings Point, pick up Mr. Harriman and fly him down to Wall Street, landing in the East River. (I haven’t verified this, but their "Palazzo" may well have been the former Gatsby Estate)

    Naturally, I was too small to remember much of that period, beyond a few "snippets" stored in my fading memory banks - including one in which a large PBM Mariner was moored at the dock while my father and grandfather (and their mechanics) performed an engine change on it.

    In any event, all of my life I have been a fan of the Flying Boat era and have made a number of trips to places around the world to take in whatever history associated with that era I could find. Little did I realize that I must have inherited this passion through osmosis, as I had NO IDEA that, just around the bend from my home was the original site of the American commercial Flying Boat cornerstone!

    This realization was no small matter to me...I am a third-generation aviator, and my father and grandfather ran an aircraft engine shop just a few blocks away, no doubt supporting Republic Aviation, among others. Yet they never made that connection for me, which gets even more confusing given that my grandfather used to fly out of Floyd Bennett Field (he had an air tour company and was associated with Erickson & Remmert there, as well as flew a Lodestar for the War Production Board) and was flying floatplanes very early on in his career throughout the Long Island area. Anyway, the interest never waned, and I continue seeking out things associated with that golden era whenever possible (my next goal is to get checked out in a Widgeon and bag a PBY ride). So, with that in mind, imagine my NEXT surprise seeing the following feature on the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum in Ireland - a place my daughter and I had visited just five years ago. And only two months ago I was in England (bagging a Spitfire ride, of course) and checking out various museums in the Portsmouth / Southampton area (like the Solent sky Museum) where I STILL failed to read anything about the Port Washington connection! Perhaps I was just practicing my "short attention span theater" skills during each of these visits, but it took YOUR publication to finally connect the dots for me! I was completely unaware of the plaque commemorating all this on the dock in Port Washington, which I will now plan to visit (along with the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City) very soon. Heck - I might as well stay at the TWA Hotel while there, right? CONNIES, BABY!

    Anyway. A bit long-winded, I’m afraid, but I felt compelled to share that with you all. Your articles truly helped me to connect some long-fading dots and have helped me to better complete the story book of my aviation history. So, thank you - thank you very much, Team AAHS!

    Pete Alexander



    Forum of Flight
    I’m sure you’ll get a lot of comments on the Forum of Flight picture of the replica Supermarine S.6B, but here’s another one. The S.6B S.1595 won the 1931 Schneider Cup Race that gave Great Britain the three consecutive races required to retire the Schnieder Cup. Supermarine S.6 N247 won the 1929 race.

    It was great to meet you folks at Oshkosh this summer. I have read every word of every issue of the Journal, and think it is the best aviation publication anywhere. Thanks for the terrific work.

    Joel Caulton

    . . .



    Bellanca CE Fuselage


    CEO"s Message

     

    Our organization, along with the world, experienced a year full of tumult and promise, successes and setbacks, with more of both certain in the coming year. How we handle the setbacks and capitalize on our successes will set the tone for our survival as an organization going forward.

    Late last year we updated the membership on our growing cost versus income situation, and asked for your help in supporting our financial position. I want to thank ALL of our members for the many kind words, donations and thoughts of support you provided in response; it has meant so much to all of us! AAHS has some more knotty financial ropes to climb, but we are making inroads to paths that will, with a bit of luck and hard work, stabilize our financial picture.

    2021-2022 was first time we hired professional skills for our archivist position, as well as administrative support for two offices (both Flabob and Huntington Beach). We took on new expenses, to speed up our digitization in early 2022, and decided to attend EAA Airventure 2022. These additional costs, while modest, were still larger than what our incoming revenues were projected to cover, and would not be handily covered by the Society’s investment portfolio, which lost significant value in late 2022.

    All this combined will make for frugal year in 2023. We have, and will continue to cut back or defer costs that are not an operational necessity, and, look for additional ways to fund our important historical preservation efforts. We are optimistic about our research into upcoming grant proposals, and, we are exploring ways we can make our large digital image database available to the public for a small download fee.

    The world of aviation, its manufacturing industry, the airlines, general aviation, homebuilt aircraft, spacecraft, and drones has changed tremendously in the last sixty years (remember the presentation from Zipline at our Annual Meeting in June, automatically delivering critical medical supplies via drone in ten different countries? Unheard of ten years ago---). AAHS needs to make some serious changes as well, to adapt to the instant-gratification, content-hungry, automated- (of course!) world we now find ourselves in.

    We always strive to keep our members informed of all our plans, and, we hope that you too, make it clear to us at AAHS what you think about where AAHS should be headed. My email, if you don’t already know it is jerri.bergen@aahs-online.org. I’d like to hear what you have to say! We cant act on every suggestion we get, but without your voice we don’t know if we’re meeting your needs or not.

    Im really looking forward to the good we can accomplish this year- lets do it together!

    Respectfully,

    Jerri Bergen
    AAHS Chief Executive Officer